Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's Rambling Week In Review

Well, I for one am glad that that week is over.

After all, it displayed a number of heart-wrenching terrors. The first of course is the thought that "Squishies" the potential cartoon for kids based on the Star Wars Galactic Heroes line of figures is an actual concept. This has all the horrors of the Super Hero Squad shoved into a franchise even nearer and dearer to my heart than Marvel Super Heroes.

The second heart-rending bit of news is yet another nail in the coffin of what used to be known as the Sci-Fi Channel. We all knew that with their rebranding to the utterly horrible name of SyFy that they would be in the process of jumping and leaping and moving as quickly as possible away from science and speculative fiction. Which makes their upcoming reality shows (one is about a chef and the other is about an interior decorator) all the more despairing.

The third horror is news that Monster Squad is getting rebooted. You know, there's only so many things that actually need a reboot, and I don't think Monster Squad is one of them. Of course, I could be wrong, this could be rebooted and made a wonderful movie that young and old alike adore and spend time with one another at. That said, with the level of...dreck which Hollywood has been consistently attempting to push down our collective throats as "good entertainment" I'm betting on it being horrible. Horrible in the vein of the Land of the Lost movie.

At least the upcoming Spring anime season is gearing up, sadly there doesn't seem to be an excessive number of shows that I'm going to be interested in actually seeing (at least from the previews).

Of course, while I'm waiting for the Spring season to get here (and dodging the SNOW!) I've started my kids' tree house (take THAT! those who thought I would never get around to building it!).

The first bit to be done was the brace. It's primarily two 2x6's nailed together to make one heavy-duty 4x6. I then cut a 2x4 to generate the knee braces.

The cross beam is getting attached to the tree via a 5/8 x 6" lag screw, while the knee braces are attached to the tree with 1/2 x6" lag screws (one screw going into the tree, the other into the cross beam).

While waiting for my screw gun to finish charging (so I could drill the pilot holes for the knee brace's lag screws) I built the base for the tree house. The base is made up of 2x6's.

The part where it looks like there's a section cut out is where the steps are going to go, and the short side will be the side resting on the cross beam.

Then, once the screw gun was charged, I drilled my pilot holes, and got the lag screws, a hammer, and a ratchet. Which I then used to mount the cross beam to the tree.

What's not shown in that picture is me hanging from that cross beam to make sure it wasn't going anywhere. I'm considering climbing up on to it and jumping up and down repeatedly as well.

Well maybe not, that four inch beam isn't a whole lot to land on.

Finally, I also shimmed the knee braces with additional 2x4's just to make that join with the cross beam that much stronger. Which wasn't a step in the plans I have, but I don't see anyone complaining about those beams being extra strong.

As a side note, what this means (beyond the fact that I'm building a structure attached to a tree) is that I got new power tools! On the person who works in the tool department's suggestion, I got a Hitachi circular saw. He claimed that it worked as well as the DeWalt brand (which is what my dad uses so it was my initial gut purchase) but it's not quite as rugged (DeWalt is designed to withstand at least a 1-story drop and still function). Since I'm the only one going to be using this thing, I was fine with it not being quite as rugged as a DeWalt, and since it was something like $50 cheaper, I was even happier.

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